It’s amazing the effects that shock can have on a person. It’s something that can unnerve anyone, no matter how strong you might feel. Being in an accident for the first time can be a scary thing and while you might suffer from some shock from the whole experience. There are also cases where people take years to recover from the shock, almost like Post Trumatic Stress (PTSD) effect, however it is important to know the steps to be taken immediately after being involved in any type of traffic accidents. Even if the damage is limited and there is no major injury, the situation can be quite overwhelming.
It is a difficult thing to try and prepare for, in fact since there are so many variables when an accident happens there’s no real generic approach that anyone can provide you. However there are a number of basic things that are common to all accidents that can help you get through the incident in the best way possible. In this article we are going to cover a few of them.
Move To A Safe Area
If you are not seriously injured and can move around the car then you should immediately get yourself out of the car and check your passengers as well as other parties involved. Making sure everyone is safe is always the first priority. Call an ambulance if needed, but getting all people who can move off the road and into a safe location should always be your first step.
Take Note Of Personal And Vehicle Details
Once confirming everyone involved is safe you can start discussing and recording the event. It’s important to keep calm and not to force blame straight away. The chances are that the other parties are just as shaken as you, and no one will openly admit their fault when in shock and on the defensive. If things become heated then the police might need to be called, if they are not in route already.
Start by asking for their personal details, such as licence number, car registration and home address, as well as the insurance company contact information. You can also capture some photos or even video of the vehicles involved as well as the surrounding area.
The main thing to make sure about is there are no serious or life threatening injuries to anyone involved. Damage to your vehicle or property is a far second place to that. However you should also be prepared for contacting a car accident attorney as soon as possible to make sure any subsequent legal action is started as soon as possible.
Our Simple After Accident Checklist
Remembering that all situations are unique, these are the 3 main things we recommend doing after an accident and confirming that people involved are safe.
Hire a Car Accident Attorney
While living in the states I would always keep a good lawyers number in my phone. Since moving to Thailand that’s still the case but for different reasons. If you don’t know a good lawyer its not a big deal, but start reaching out to a few as soon as you can. Do some interviews and see which one is ideal for your case and gives you the best impression.
Once you have made your decision, everything you do related to the event should be confirmed with them first. They will ask you to take your time and walk them through all the steps of the accident as well as sharing all of the photos and videos you might have with them.
Get Other Sources Of Evidence
Living and driving in the city provides the benefit of being able to security and traffic cameras in the event of a serious accident. In most cases it doesn’t take much for local law enforcement to procure these and present as evidence to a court. While this avenue is not available to citizens, you might be able to ask witnesses if they were recording on their mobile phone when the event took place. This might be of use in a small, less serious claims case.
Remember that all photos and video needs to be filed with your official report when the police arrive. All pieces of information can help to prove to a jury or judge exactly what happens. One of the great things about mobile phones, dash cams and other recording technology is it’s ability to provide completely unbiased views of exactly how things unfolded and came to be.
Cover All Aspects Of The Case
Depending on the size and seriousness of the case there could be a great deal of information that you have to go through and submit to your attorney. Make sure you submit everything to your car accident lawyer so they can work on the merits of the case as well as see all the strengths and potential weaknesses in order to determine the reasonable target on compensation that you should receive.
If you decide to settle out of court, an insurance adjuster might offer you compensation that is sufficient to cover your bills and vehicle damage because of the accident.
So that’s a very basic overview of the main steps you should focus on after being in a crash. Of course making sure everyone involved is safe and away from danger is your number one focus – the compensation and other legal matters can always be worked out, and in some cases may take months. If you happen to have a claim that’s taking a while you could read more about tactics and trials on our site.